Muscaro, Manfra, Braga Highlight Track & Field’s Stellar Saturday at Tufts Snowflake Classic
THREE WARRIORS POST WINNING MARKS IN SECOND MEET OF OUTDOOR SEASON
MEDFORD, Mass. – Powered by three victories combined from both the men's and women's side, the Merrimack College track & field team continued the 2014 outdoor season with another solid team showing at the Tufts Snowflake Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Team Standings: Men (NTS) | Women (4th/24)
Top Performers: John Braga (LJ) | Carly Muscaro (100m) | Christine Manfra (400m H)
Location: Tufts University | Medford, Mass.
What They Said
Head Coach Matt Pimentel: "Considering the conditions, we had some very strong performances. We continue to put up solid times and marks in the early part of the outdoor season. Today we finished well as a team, considering we brought a small team and many athletes competed in events they are not accustomed to running."
How It Happened
After an impressive outdoor season debut a week earlier at VCU, Merrimack continued its strong start to the 2014 outdoor campaign with another strong team effort at Tufts on Saturday.
On the men's side, the Warriors garnered 52 team points to place sixth in a 26-team field despite not bringing a full lineup due to weather concerns; the women did even better, finishing fourth in the entire 24-team field, which represented the top school by any Division II team while also besting Division I schools Vermont, Boston University and Harvard.
The highlight for both sides was three victories by individuals, with junior Christine Manfra (Stoneham, Mass.) and freshman Carly Muscaro (Ashland, Mass.) placing first in the 100m and 400m hurdles, respectively, while rookie John Braga (North Reading, Mass.) also won the long jump.
Muscaro carried over her unprecedented indoor season success with her first victory of the outdoor season; the rookie sprinter won the 100m finals with a time of 12.23 seconds, nearly a full tenth ahead of the next-closest competitor. Manfra, meanwhile, put up one of her best performances with the Navy and Gold after her 1:06.85 performance in the 400m hurdles was nearly two seconds shy of the second-place time.
Also on the women's side, freshman Sarah Barnett (Bridgewater, Mass.) picked up a top-10 finish in the 100m hurdles with a 17.19-second performance; She and fellow freshman Olivia Downey (Melrose, Mass.) dominated the high jump, with the latter finishing fourth with a distance of 1.55m. Fellow freshman Sarah Muolo (Stoneham, Mass.) finished fifth in the pole vault (2.60m), while sophomore Lauren Witzgall (North Reading, Mass.) ranked fifth in the triple jump with a 9.88m distance. Finally, sophomore Samatha Dee (Bedford, N.H.) was the runner-up in the discus throw with a second-place distance of 32.27m.
On the men's side, Braga was the highlight of the day with the team's only victory in an individual event; the freshman leaper won the long jump with a final distance of 7.03m, winning the event by a hundredth of a meter.
In addition to Braga, freshman Nick Vratsenes (Manchester, N.H.) nearly took home a win of his own after finishing third in the 100m with a time of 11.20 seconds. In mid-distance, junior Luis Cruz (Lawrence, Mass.) placed fifth in 1:58.51 seconds, while John Spencer (North Haven, Conn.) placed second in the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.24 seconds.
The Warriors continue the outdoor season a week from Saturday (April 5), when they compete at the AIC Invitational in Springfield, Mass.